Graphic organizers and thinking maps are highly visual, offer concrete patterns, highly successful for retention and retrieval of information useful for both teaching and assessing concepts.
There are three basic types of visual tools for learning: brainstorm “webs”, task-specific “graphic” organizers, and thinking maps. The most important difference between Thinking Maps and graphic organizers is that each Thinking Map is based on a fundamental thinking skill. Graphic organizers tend to be text or teacher- centered, whereas Thinking Maps are generally more student centered or designed for cooperative learning. Both graphic organizers and Thinking Maps are visual, which benefits many learners including those with special education needs.
A graphic organizer tends to be teacher driven for a specific purpose, often a curriculum specific topic or task. Items placed in a graphic organizer do not easily transfer to other disciplines, nor are they flexible
DetailsImage A brainstorm web allows for class discussion surrounding a topic and how components are related. Allows the student to think about a topic and hone in all the facets that surround that topic.
Task specific organizer serve a specific purpose and are intended to be a visual representation to support learning.
Problem solving chart Polya’s Four problem-solving steps 1st Understand the problem (What is the goal? Draw a representation 2nd Devise a plan (Is there a similar problem I can relate to this? 3rd Carry out the Plan (carry out plan and check each step) 4th Look Back (check answer)
Name: _______________________ Date: _________ Algebra Property Test Directions: Analyze the following problems and place the problem under the correct property column. 11+0=11 37*1=37 5+3=3+5 (3+4)+6= 3+(4+6) 13+0=13 (3z)m=3(zm) 3(a+5)=3a+15 Solve for y: 8) -12x = 3(y-3) Explain: 9) Using the problem in number 8, explain each step to solving the problem and the property you used. Providing students with the opportunity to organize their thoughts via a variety of means allows them to begin to see all the connections with the math problems they are solving. Associativ e Property Commutati ve Property Distributiv e Property Identity Property
A Thinking Map is designed for collaborative purposes among students and involve a larger amount of discussion and use of language. These flexible forms of thinking allow for a great deal of crossover among the disciplines including accessing prior knowledge. The thinking process is almost more important that the information recorded.
Graphic organizers are a great strategy for building thinking skills due to their organizational manner. They provide concise visuals that are easily accessible for students to glean key information through. Also, since there is often more than one right answer, students must use the information in slightly different ways thus promoting the opportunity to create new knowledge for themselves. Teachers have determined that graphic organizers “support student understanding of concepts and skills” (McMackin and Witherell, 2005, p. 249). One addition that teachers and researchers should explore more is in the area of differentiation of the graphic organizers, called tiered graphic organizers. By designing a low, medium, and high version of each graphic organizers, students are able to access the information at a more appropriate level for their skills. Resources McMackin, M.C. and Witherell, N. L. (2005). Different routes to the same destination: Drawing conclusions with tiered graphic organizers. The Reading Teacher, 59(3), Retrieved December 31, 2008, from ProQuest Education Journals database. (Document ID: ).